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ALBANY -- New Yorkers are divided over the implementation of the Common Core of higher academic standards for public schools which has roiled parents and teachers statewide, according to Tuesday’s Siena College poll.
The poll found 36 percent of New York voters found the standards are too demanding, 24 percent said they aren’t tough enough, and 23 percent found them about right. That is significantly unchanged over the last month.
Fifty percent said the Common Core standards should be delayed two years, while 38 percent opposed a delay. Educators and parents said more time is needed to train teachers in the demands of the Common Core before students and teachers -- through job evaluations -- are held accountable to them.
“These questions tell me the state Education Department didn’t do a great job on the roll out . . . and still has a lot of work to do,” said Steven Greenberg of the Siena College poll. “There is a lot of debate swirling around the Common Core, but there still is a lack of information out there about the Common Core.
The state Education Department and the Board of Regents which sets education policy note the effort has been underway for years and won’t be fully implemented for two more years. The Common Core is being implemented nationally to make students more competitive with those in other countries.
State Education Commissioner John B. King has said the higher standards are already improving instruction. He has said he and the Board of Regents can't delay or suspend most of the standardized tests because they are required by the federal government and tied to funding.
New York voters also continue to be split over whether the Common Core better prepares students for college and careers.
In other issues, the poll found 73 percent of voters support allowing local governments to increase their minimum above the statewide minimum wage set by the Legislature.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has sought to require a higher wage in the high-cost city similar to higher municipal minimum wages in San Francisco and other cities. On Tuesday, several Westchester County also supported allowing communities to set higher minimum wages.
The state minimum wage is $8 an hour and will rise to $9 an hour on Dec. 31, 2015. Last year, the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to increase the minimum wage in steps from $7.25 an hour.
But Cuomo has said that would be chaotic and would hurt the state’s competitiveness with other states.
“It’s just not feasible to live on $8 an hour." said Mike Spano, Mayor of Yonkers "Adjusting minimum wage regionally will directly help minimize the impacts the greater cost of living so many face, and hopefully move earners up the economic ladder."
The poll questioned 802 registered voters from Feb. 16 to 20. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.